Sailors aboard Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) concluded a five-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, returning to the ship’s homeport of San Diego, Aug. 28. More...
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Aug. 30, 2017) Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer visits Camp Pendleton during his fleet visit to the West Coast. Spencer is traveling to meet and hear directly from Sailors, Marines, and civilians assigned to I Marine Expeditionary Force, Repairable Issue Point, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion and Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch to get feedback for the future of the Navy and Marine Corps. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jonathan B. Trejo
New SECNAV's message to the Navy and Marine Corps 8/3/2017
From SECNAV Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- On Aug. 3, Richard V. Spencer, a native of Connecticut, was sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy. The following is his opening statement:
Sailors, Marines and Civilian Teammates,
It is with great excitement and humility that I take on the role of your 76th secretary of the Navy. The excitement is born from the challenges and opportunities that we face now and in the near future.
Due to your consistent ability to successfully deliver on all demands put before you, there is a commensurate level of expectation for more of the same going forward. Therein lies the challenge we face and prudency says we should expect that challenge to grow as the threats around the world continue to increase.
Within every challenge lies opportunity and I urge everyone to adopt that point of view. Every member involved in the Navy Marine Corps team has the opportunity to make a contribution towards a more effective, versatile, resilient and lethal organization.
You, as a member of this team, will have access to a wide range of resources. Those resources must be applied in the most impactful manner possible in order to enhance our ability to deliver when called to fight. I look to each of you to seize the opportunity and contribute to enhancing the effort.
I am humbled to be in the position to lead an enterprise that is manned with such a stunning amount of proven talent. Our Nation's all volunteer force, and supporting teammates, are second to none. That is because of you.
I believe that the most valuable asset within an organization is the high performing human component. We will work together to ensure we have the best, sustainable environment in order to continue our history of delivering when requested.
Make no mistake, we are facing a threat level that has not been witnessed for quite some time and urgency is the manner in which we must all act as the complexity of threats increase in size and scope. We must all be focused on the pointed end of the spear.
I eagerly look forward to working with you as we step out to face the challenges set before us and embrace the opportunities that lie within those challenges.
The sting of the Bee by MC2 Charlotte C. Oliver,
Defense Media Activity
The Seabees, affectionately called "Dirt Sailors," have been present in every war and conflict since World War II. But these tough men and women do more than build latrines and airstrips; they are also trained to defend what they build. Throughout 2017, the Navy will celebrate 75 years of the Seabees, their mettle and their "can do" spirit.....read more
Infantry Marines getting new vehicles
Infantry Marines will soon receive ultralight off-road vehicles that will improve mission readiness by providing rapid logistics support in the field.
Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the Corps’ acquisition arm for major land programs, is expected to deliver 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level starting later this month—a mere six months from contract award. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth.........read more
Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more
Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more
Separation policy update
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more
National military news
Navy issues physical readiness NAVADMIN correction 9/5/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Tuesday a correction to NAVADMIN 141/17, Physical Readiness Program Policy Changes, clarifying the exemption for post-partum Sailors.
Effective immediately, the Navy is exempting post-partum Sailors from participating in the physical fitness assessment (PFA) for six months following the Sailors' maternity/convalescent leave. This change reflects an increase to the Navy's increased maternity leave policy of 84 days following child birth. This will ensure Sailors have adequate time to return to weight standards and pass a Physical Readiness Test (PRT) following a pregnancy.
Navy previously announced two other changes in NAVADMIN 141/17, effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Sailors who pass the body composition assessment (BCA), are within the Navy age-graduated body fat standards and score an overall "excellent low" or better on the PRT, with no single event lower than a "good low" can be exempt from the next cycle PRT.
Also, the Navy eliminated the use of elliptical machines as authorized alternate cardio devices during official PFAs.
Additional information can be found at www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/physical and in NAVADMIN 141/17.
My Navy Portal (MNP) now includes a low bandwidth version 9/1/2017
From Sea Warrior Program (PEO EIS PMW 240)
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy announced today that this week's update to My Navy Portal (MNP) includes a low bandwidth version that can be accessed afloat, or ashore in areas with limited bandwidth. This latest updated version gives users the option to choose the low bandwidth upon login, or from any page within the portal. By removing all photos, graphics, and formatting found on the standard version, the low bandwidth option is designed to load faster, perform smoother, and enables users to quickly complete Navy career tasks within the portal.
Launched earlier this year in beta, MNP is a Web portal designed to aggregate several personnel, training, and education websites for Sailors into one location. The goal of MNP is to provide Sailors a single portal with which they can manage their careers from the day they join to the day they separate. MNP will consolidate access to personnel databases, training and education systems, and supporting websites into one easy-to-use system. Sailors will see continued improvement and added functionality with each quarterly software update to MNP.
More information can be found in the Support/MNP Help section in the portal's main menu. http://my.navy.mil
John S. McCain Sailors posthumously advanced 8/31/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Navy announced Thursday that the 10 Sailors who died aboard USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) were posthumously advanced to their next rank. Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Kansas City, Missouri, was posthumously advanced to Chief Electronics Technician. Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas, was posthumously advanced to Chief Interior Communications Electrician. Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Maryland, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 1st Class. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, New York, was posthumously advanced to Information Systems 1st Class. Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Drake had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced. Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Maryland, was posthumously advanced to Information Systems Technician 2nd Class. Eckels had been selected for promotion and authorized to wear the rank of a second class petty officer, but had not yet been advanced. Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Connecticut, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class. Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois, was posthumously advanced to Interior Communications Electrician 2nd Class. Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, was posthumously advanced to Electronics Technician 2nd Class.
The 10 Sailors were killed in a collision between the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer John S. McCain and the Liberian-flagged merchant vessel Alnic MC on Aug. 21. The incident is under investigation to determine the facts and circumstances of the collision.
US Navy successfully conducts AN/SPY-6(V) air and missile defense radar ballistic missile test 8/3/2017
From Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems
PACIFIC MISSLE RANGE, KAUAI, Hawaii (NNS) -- The U.S. Navy successfully conducted another Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) flight test with the AN/SPY-6(V) Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) off the west coast of Hawaii, July 27.
At 2:05 p.m., Hawaii Standard Time (8:05 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time) a medium-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Kauai, Hawaii. AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR searched for, detected and maintained track on the target throughout its trajectory. The flight test, designated Vigilant Titan, is the second in a series of ballistic missile defense flight tests for the AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR.
"We are continuing to stress this radar by increasing the range and complexity of the targets and demonstrating the awesome capability and versatility of the Navy's next generation Integrated Air and Missile Defense radar." said Navy Capt. Seiko Okano, major program manager for Above Water Sensors, Program Executive Office (PEO) Integrated Warfare Systems (IWS). "AN/SPY-6 is the nation's most advanced radar and will be the cornerstone of the U.S. Navy's surface combatants for many decades."
Based on preliminary data, the test successfully met its primary objectives against a complex medium range ballistic missile (MRBM) target. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
The culmination of over a decade of Navy investment in advanced radar technology, AN/SPY-6(V) AMDR is being designed for the DDG 51 Flight III destroyer to provide the U.S. Navy with state-of-the-art technology for integrated air and missile defense.
PEO IWS, an affiliated PEO of the Naval Sea Systems Command, manages surface ship and submarine combat technologies and systems and coordinates Navy enterprise solutions across ship platforms.
SRB update released 6/21/2017
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Wednesday, the Navy released an update to the Selective Reenlistment Bonus (SRB) award plan for active component (AC) and full time support (FTS) Sailors in NAVADMIN 144/17.
This NAVADMIN updates the December SRB plan released in NAVADMIN 284/16, and decreases 14 award levels and removes six skills from the list. There are no award level increases or additions in this update.
This is the second update to the SRB plan this fiscal year.
SRBs serve as an incentive for those Sailors with critical skills to remain in the Navy.
Sailors can keep abreast of award changes through the Navy's SRB webpage at http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/career/enlistedcareeradmin/Pages/SRB.aspx/ and review the NAVADMIN, which contains a complete listing of changes to skills award levels eligible for SRBs.
Enlisted community managers continuously monitor the health of their community to maintain acceptable manning levels in critical skills, and recommend adjustments to SRBs when necessary.
Skill removals and award level decreases take effect 30 days after notification through release of the NAVADMIN or posting on the Navy Personnel Command website, whichever is earliest.
Eligible Sailors desiring SRB reenlistment are encouraged to work with their command career counselors, command master chiefs and chain of command to discuss timing of reenlistment and procedures well before their EAOS. Requests are required to be submitted a minimum of 35 days prior to the requested reenlistment date.
NAVADMIN 144/17 can be read at http://www.npc.navy.mil/.
SoCal military news
Carl Vinson underway for carrier qualifications 8/2/2017
by MC2 Z.A. Landers
PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) departed her homeport of Naval Air Station North Island to complete fleet replacement squadron (FRS) carrier qualifications (CQ), July 31.
During the underway period, Carl Vinson will conduct qualifications with the Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 "Flying Eagles" based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore and the Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 "Vikings" based at NAS Whidbey Island. The Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 30 "Providers" and the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4 "Black Knights" will also operate with the ship in support of carrier qualification operations.
Carl Vinson Air Operations Officer Cmdr. Joshua Hammond said carrier qualifications are important because they allow Carl Vinson to practice launching and recovering aircraft while helping qualify new pilots.
"Being at sea for FRS CQ gives us practice at what we do on deployment: launching and recovering aircraft," said Hammond. "We can't always be underway with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, so these operations help us stay sharp and hone our craft while helping new pilots gain proficiency."
Hammond went on to say the purpose of FRS CQ is to qualify new naval aviators for duty operating with an aircraft carrier.
"Carrier qualifications allow fleet replacement squadrons to get pilots carrier qualified, so they can join their fleet squadrons," said Hammond. "Some are brand new and have never flown fleet aircraft. Some are transitioning aircraft or are requalifying in their original aircraft. Practicing launching and recovering from Carl Vinson will be their last step before going to a fleet squadron."
Hammond said the work done during FRS CQ benefits not just Carl Vinson and the squadrons, but the entire fleet.
"These operations support the larger mission of sending qualified pilots into the fleet to join their squadrons," said Hammond. "While these pilots will be sent to squadrons across the fleet, some of them could very well be assigned to Carl Vinson's air wing when we depart for [the] next deployment."
Carl Vinson is currently underway conducting carrier qualifications off the coast of Southern California.
NMCSD staff lend helping hands during Stand Down 2017 8/3/2017
by MCSA Harley K. Sarmiento, Naval Medical Center San Diego
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Sailors extended helping hands at the Veterans Village of San Diego's 30th Annual Stand Down July 21-23.
Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) Stand Down is an annual three-day event, and more than one thousand San Diego homeless veterans received a range of free services, including substance abuse counseling, health care and legal assistance.
"Essentially we build a small town for these veterans," said Ron Stark, VVSD logistics Coordinator and site set up manager. "Anything a small town would have, we will have it here for the homeless veterans to use. We take them away from the war on the streets and give them a safe place to stay for three days. It gives the veterans and their families a break."
The event is held in a tent city constructed by active duty military volunteers at the San Diego High School sports fields. This marked the 30th year for the annual Stand Down event.
When veterans walked into the gates of Stand Down, volunteers greeted them with a handshake and open arms. They were assigned to a tent where tent leaders assisted them in accessing the services they needed; immediate visits to the clothing tent, showers, barbers, makeovers, medical, dental and optical services were provided.
"The philosophy of Stand Down is to provide some of the essentials that these homeless veterans can't receive on a daily basis," said Stark. "Stand Down is like a boot camp for these veterans."
For the Sailors and Marines that volunteered at Stand Down, it could be a wake-up call.
"While on active duty, the service member receives everything he or she needs," said Stark. "Once you leave active duty, sometimes it's not that easy. Coming off active duty, some people fall into a hard transitioning period and end up on the streets. So for some of the active duty volunteers this is an eye opening experience."
Among the olive green and khaki tents, both Sailors and Marines in uniform provided security, conducted health and dental screenings and helped out where ever they could. Master Chief Joe Murphy, a NMCSD senior enlisted leader was among these uniforms.
"I have a lot of family members that served in the military before me and I know some of them are experiencing hard times," said Murphy. "I wish this was something that was offered around the country. To me, this is a better way to give back to the community. It brings it home to me. I really want to give back to the Sailors and all the service men that have gone before us."
Veterans Village of San Diego is a non-profit organization founded in 1981 to give homeless and mentally wounded veterans a chance to get back on their feet with its "No One Left Behind" creed.
"The Naval Medical Center staff looks forward to this event every year," said Captain Shannon Johnson, NMCSD Executive Officer. "We want to ensure you, our veterans are not alone. We have tremendous respect for all the contributions you have made to the security of our nation, and we are grateful for the sacrifice."
USS Sterett deployment extended 7/7/2017
by Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- U.S. Pacific Fleet ordered the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104) to extend the previously scheduled deployment in the Western-Pacific until the end of August.
The reduced availability of destroyers in the region after the damage to USS Fitzgerald necessitated the extension of Sterett in order to provide responsive capability and presence in the region.
The extension represents an approximate one month addition to the deployment schedule of Sterett and embarked helicopter detachment from Helicopter Maritime Squadron (HSM) 49.
Sterett and HSM 49, along with the command staff of Destroyer Squadron 31, USS Dewey (DDG 105) and embarked HSM 78, deployed from San Diego as part of the Sterett-Dewey Surface Action Group (SAG) under Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet control, Mar. 31.
Since deploying in March, Sterett has participated in joint exercises with the U.S. Air Force and several multilateral exercises with naval units from Japan, France, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Thailand, as well as maritime maneuvers with China. Sterett additionally welcomed distinguished visitors to include Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John M. Richardson; Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Scott Swift; members of the House Armed Services Committee, and the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet constantly coordinates with U.S. 7th Fleet to plan and execute missions based on their complementary strengths to promote ongoing peace, security, and stability throughout the entire Pacific theater of operations.
United Through Reading® Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.